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About Us

Piano Six 'Next Generation' brings quality classical music to small and remote communities in Canada to fill a cultural gap: these regions currently lack access to live classical performances.

The original Piano Six (1994-2004) helped to fill this gap, and for a time, many small communities supported their own classical concert series in the wake of Piano Six. But in recent years, many of these series have dissolved. For example, 20 years ago Ontario had over 60 classical music presenters showcasing the country’s top talents, 90% of which have dissolved and are no longer active.

Due to deep cut to arts funding over the last decade, increased competition for private sector philanthropy and escalating tour costs, there is a new generation of potential classical audience members who could benefit from a chance to hear live music, yet lack the opportunity to do so.

PROJECT DETAILS

Piano Six “Next Generation” brings thousands of Canadians into contact with live concert music. Skillful use of technology and social media platforms allow the Collective to build greater engagement with communities before, during and after each event. For example, each pianist provides a short YouTube clip presenting their thematic program in order to help host communities prepare for their arrival, while live streaming of selected events and a well-maintained Facebook fan page broadens the reach of the target audience.

The touring period begins in April and carries over into December each year. Each month, one pianist is assigned to two regional tours within a specific geographic area in Canada to be completed within two weeks. A typical visit by a pianist lasts 2-3 days and includes a concert for the community in addition to an outreach event provided by the artist at no extra cost. Depending on the community’s wishes, this could be a school concert, a master class for music students, or a workshop for piano teachers. The free workshops and masterclasses allow participants to get to know the performers on a more personal level as artists and as people.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Piano Six “Next Generation” explores the unique versatility of the piano, an effective instrument for providing high quality classical performances to remote and rural communities. The piano can dazzle, soothe and stimulate all within a single program. At the same time, the piano is a cost-effective instrument to build programs around, requiring only one performer.

The pianists were selected based on their energetic, dynamic personalities and their innate passion for discussing their music alongside playing it: all have performed internationally for diverse audiences and have significant experience with outreach events. Although Piano Six artists perform primarily classical music, it is well versed in a wide range of other musical genres, including pop, jazz, film and folk music. The pianists pull the music apart and suggest why certain components generate specific emotional responses within listeners.

We work with host communities to make the visit successful, for example, by renting and transporting an instrument for presenters without a piano available. It also provides each community with helpful advice on acquiring cost-effective media and advertising options for each event.